Plan For The Worst

by Braxton Taylor

It was calving season and my rancher friend had been up at all hours of the day and night looking after his livestock and helping to get healthy babies on the ground. He was tired … worn out … beat. Naturally, that’s when someone started beating on his door at two in the morning.

Now this same rancher is an excellent defensive shot. He has trained at some of the best schools and practices regularly, but he was so tired and worn out that he just sat on the edge of the bed, trying to decide which gun to take with him to answer the door. When he finally got his head straight, he found that it was just a couple of deputy sheriffs concerned about some cows out on the highway that did not even belong to the rancher. No harm, no foul, but my rancher friend admits that he certainly didn’t handle the situation like he should have and fears what might have happened if it had been a real home invasion.

I fear that, too often, we imagine defensive scenarios in which we are alert and able to function quickly and correctly, and we don’t give enough thought to handling defensive problems when we are sick, hurt or otherwise diverted. Murphy’s Law and all that.

Several years ago, I sustained a fairly serious injury to my right hand. For quite some time I had to carry left-handed. Now, I had done a fair bit of left-handed shooting during range practice. I would have said I was good to go. Sadly, that was not the case because I had never given any thought or practice to loading and unloading with only one hand. And how about clearing malfunctions? Of course, there are techniques for all those functions, but I had to do a crash course to get up to speed with them.

Learning from the hand injury, I later realized that, due to years of shooting, my hearing was no longer what it should be. One of the solutions was hearing aids, but I also found a little dog that has become almost my constant companion. She hears lots of things that I don’t … like when someone drives up out front or when rattlesnakes are trying to tell me that I am too close to them.

One of the ways that we deal with conflict is to imagine realistic scenarios and then give thought and practice as to how we can deal with them. You will notice that I said, “realistic scenarios.” But to be truly realistic we should also give thought to handling problems when we are not at our best, either mentally or physically.

It’s just a good idea to imagine situations when you are not at your best and give thought to how you can deal with them or prepare for them. It is just another part of a smart personal defense plan.

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